One of the blogs I subscribe to is 10,000 Birds. Though I am not a serious birder, I love to see birds, and see new ones, and sometimes identify the ones I am seeing for the first time. The people who write for this blog are serious ornithologists. Sometimes I feel like an underachiever when I go to that site because I do not get as serious about it as they do. But I love to see what they are doing anyway. Maybe when my life is different, I will spend entire days/weekends/weeks/months working on my life list of birds and knowing their scientific names. For now, however, I go there for enjoyment.
Image Credit. (I know this is in the wrong place, but I cannot figure out how to get it in the right place!)
Today they referenced an interesting article about the shortage of Clownfish that has happened since the movie, Finding Nemo, was released. People “needing” these fish as a pet are not the only reason for the shortage, but it plays into it. It makes me wonder what people were thinking when they watched the movie. Was it not about not harvesting wild fish to have as pets? (OK, that was not what the movie was about, but the message was there. At least I thought it was.)
Something you will find little (and I thought none) of on this blog is politics. I really have no use for politics. Politics often creates zealots, and I do not believe that I am one. And truthfully, conversations with zealots (from any political persuasion) get on my nerves. My opinions are my own. I live by them and act by them and vote by them. But I do not try to convince anyone else that I am right, or that they should believe what I believe. In fact, I am guessing there are very few people in the whole world who really understand, or even know, my political opinions and persuasions. Actually, probably only S, my Prince Charming husband does. But even he and I do not discuss politics often because he can be a zealot (if for no other reason than he has a good time playing Devil’s Advocate), and I do not like those types of conversations.
With all of that said, this post is probably a little bit political. Let me make it clear that I am not judging anyone for owning a Clownfish. I am guessing that most people who own them do not have any idea there is a 50% chance that theirs came from the wild. My question is why do the pet distributors (or whatever they are called) go get them out of the wild to keep up with demand? It seems to me that if they did not, the prices would go up, and eventually people would stop buying them. Of course a market would be gone, or certainly not as lucrative as it is now, but what of it? Does any market last forever? Does any business that lasts have to find new markets and new products?
Before I was a stay-at-home Mom, I worked for a manufacturer in the automotive industry. I did not work for an automobile manufacturer, but a supplier of non-cosmetic interior parts—things that could not be seen and were therefore more generic than some components of the car. Our business changed courses constantly. We could not make the same thing and expect to keep in business for a year, let alone forever. We could not even make the same types of things and expect our business to grow, or even remain steady. We were always having to find new ways to apply our product.
How much more important would it be to change directions and focus when the item in question is not a renewable resource like my company manufactured, but an animal that maybe our grandchildren (if you have small children like I do) will never get to see, and will especially wonder about, because I KNOW that movie will still be around in 100 years!
And one last thing. Though it is my opinion that pet distributors have been irresponsible in this area, all of us need to be more responsible consumers. Ignorance can be bliss, but only for ourselves.
Off my soapbox for now. I PROMISE not to be here very often!
By Louise Cannon
p.s. My 10th anniversary is tomorrow. I am probably already on an airplane by the time you read this. I have some posts scheduled for my absence, but I will not have computer access while gone, so I will not be checking your blogs or answering comments. I will catch up as fast as I can when I return. (Monday’s post is about Prince Charming. I know some of you can hardly wait for that!)